Although spring took a turn and snowflakes began to fly, University of Minnesota students endured the cold and joined agriculture groups April 21 for Ag Awareness Day. This event is a chance for students to ask questions and learn more about different sectors of agriculture. Minnesota Soybean was a part of the conversation and joined the students on the University of Minnesota Northrop Auditorium plaza.
“Ag Awareness day is an awesome event,” said Brooke Wente, a sophomore at the University of Minnesota, majoring in Agricultural Education with an emphasis in leadership and communications. “We, as students on the St. Paul campus studying agriculture, are able to share our knowledge with fellow students and bring in agriculture groups to share with those less familiar.”
To interact with the students, Minnesota Soybean created a trivia and plinko game for a chance to win prizes. The trivia questions focused on the use of soybeans and how the industry impacts Minnesota. Minnesota Soybean Growers Association Vice President Paul Freeman, along with fellow directors Bob Wayne and Tom Grundman, were the farmers that helped in the soybean booth.
“It was refreshing to meet with the students and see how close agriculture ties to many of the other majors and sciences,” Freeman said. “Questions were asked about the food we produce and eat so it was rewarding to be able to explain what we do.”
Among the agriculture organizations, animals were brought to the plaza for students to have a chance to see dairy and beef calves, sheep, goats and llamas.
“Bringing animals to this event is a great way to strike up a conversation about farming and food,” Wente said. “Some students may never get the chance to see these kinds of animals, or really understand the connection between our livelihood and their food consumption. This event gives them that chance.”
This year marks the sixth annual University of Minnesota Ag Awareness Day. The event is organized by the University of Minnesota Agricultural Education Club and held on the east bank campus to increase awareness with non-agriculture majors.
The Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council (MSR&PC) invests soybean checkoff dollars into Ag Awareness Day to help educate and promote soybean farmers to non-farmers.